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Welcome to Perspectives

Welcome, and thanks for stopping by Perspectives.

In this blog I look at contemporary issues that intersect media, culture and religious faith. I’m motivated, in part, because I think the dialogue has been too limited; in part, because I’m interested in hearing from more voices; and finally because I have to be hopeful that we can overcome the namecalling and division that’s so prevalent today and create a more inclusive and affirmative society. So, I live in hope.

Christian values include
peace
and justice issues,
food
and healthcare,
human rights
and
responsibility for
the environment

But hope must live in a real context. For example, the debate over so-called traditional values has been very narrow and incomplete. I believe Christian values include peace and justice issues, food and healthcare, human rights and responsibility for the environment. But these values have gotten precious little attention in the polarized debate about gay marriage and abortion. As a result, we’re not better informed, but we’re
certainly more divided.

I doubt that confrontational media framing brings much light to the darkness. Nor does the politicizing of religion. In fact, I think “either/or” framing of stories is harmful to the public conversation. It distorts our perception and simplifies complicated issues by turning them into bumper sticker slogans. It shuts out too many voices and it doesn’t lead us to creative problem-solving. If, as a result, we are more divided and less understanding then journalism has failed. I hope we preserve journalism that can help us sustain a diverse and inclusive society as the Constitution envisioned.

 


 

About Me

I started Perspectives two years ago as an experiment. Blogging was new and I wanted see what it was about.

I’ve been involved in storytelling in various media–radio, television, print, video–for most of my life. I continue to work in many of these media today. I suppose it’s a common hope of journalists that telling stories will in some way help contribute to positive change in the world–not that every journalist is an activist. But the very “act” of telling a story implies that something of value will result from it. Even when it’s not stated, I suspect this is an unspoken motivation.

There is something empowering about storytelling as well. I’ve seen whole villages
where people gained confidence and hope when they were able to tell their story to others from the outside. The very act of telling lends confidence. The willingness of someone to listen adds even more, because it honors the storyteller. If someone is interested enough to listen to my story then it must be important to some degree. That’s affirming in itself. So, I’ve worked at storytelling using this reasoning and it’s been an interesting and revealing journey. We live in a time of paradox. It’s both more difficult to get stories into the mainstream media today and at the same time considerably easier to document and tell stories with affordable digital media that are becoming available to nearly everyone–at least to most in the developed world.

This paradox keeps me energized. Some are saying blogging is dead, except for the top bloggers. I don’t know if this is true or not. I do know that it’s not as easy as it appears. It takes time and determination. I also think it continues to be important. So, I’m still here.

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